Sometimes it's just not leaving enough time to do something, or faulty prioritizing, or forgetting something at the market.
Sometimes I actually hurt someone's feelings.
Sometimes I'm oblivious to what's going on, and sometimes I just put my foot in it.
So what's the message when my foot's in my mouth?
I think everything that shows up in our lives is either a mirror or a message, and there's always a lesson, and there's always a take-away.
Most of the time these days, I've noticed the message coming in loud and clear: Pay attention! Be aware! Look around! Be here now!
Unfortunately, once my foot is in my mouth, or I'm sprawled on the pavement, or my husband is staring at me as though I've just committed murder, it's a little late to process the message. A little late to undo the error. Oh, for do-overs.
So what, exactly, is a mistake, and what is a fair price to pay for making one?
I've come to think of a mistake as thinking a little bit too hard about me.
Sometimes what's a mistake to one person is a boon to another, and some mistakes turn out to be lucky intuition, like the artist of any medium who forges a new road from his soul by mistakenly taking the wrong turn.
I can think of every man in my life until my lovely husband as a mistake. I can think of every man in my life as some kind of lesson. As a stepping-stone, a passage.
Or I can see that every man in my life was exactly right for me at any given moment, and all I needed to do was see his message.
The message might have been Alright. Thank you for attending. Now you can move on.
Or it might have been, I'm not supposed to go any further, please proceed without me.
Or This is a very nice place to be, so sorry you're not ready yet.
I must have come across many men I couldn't have, not because they wouldn't want me, but because they knew I didn't want me.
I certainly came across many career turns that said "Thank you for showing up, and please move on..." - whether it was me wanting to wave goodbye, or the job itself speaking loud and clear.
I always thought I'd made a wrong turn. I always thought I'd done something wrong, made a "wrong" choice. somehow "missed the mark."
Until I realized it doesn't work that way.
Somehow, however your faith in yourself and perhaps something bigger than any of us can imagine illuminates your sense of where you are in the continuum of life, none of us can see far enough ahead to make those big decisions and really, ever be "right."
So - perhaps there IS no such thing as "right." Perhaps there's just "feels good." Perhaps what we call a "mistake" is really just "something that happened along the way, leading me on a different track than I'd planned, with no way for me to see how it'll eventually pan out."
How to tell the difference between the mistake, the mirror and the message?
The mirror shows you where you are, the mistake shows you where you've been, and the message invites you to go where you want to be.
I listen to them all, but I look for messages.
Sometimes I can't see them or hear them or feel them, because I'm too absorbed in the mirror, or too despondent over the mistake.
The thing about messages is, in order to see them, you have to be still.
In order to hear them, you have to be quiet.
And in order to feel them, you have to be in your body.
Mistakes play out like a loss of attention. They throw us off the gameboard into the sand trap. They're us trying to take charge of the brave and thoughtful horse we're riding, the horse who really knows the way, and steering him off course into the woods because we thought we saw a turn back there we missed.
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The fastest way out of a "mistake" is to fall in love with it.
Shutting ourselves down, going dead inside and numb and depressed gets us deeper into the quagmire.
"Fighting" the aftermath of a "mistake" may seem like a good idea - it feels way better than the true way out: Sinking down and feeling feelings - yet, most of the time, fighting makes us work harder and harder and we still end up shutting down and getting nowhere and nothing.
Sometimes, what we call "fighting" feels like an energy boost.
It feels like we're gathering the energy to recover our self- esteem by stopping accusing ourselves - How could I have done that? or denying responsibility - It wasn't my fault! or taking on responsibility that isn't ours - It was all my fault...or lying to others - I didn't do that! or lying to ourselves - I don't care!
* This "Falling In Love With It" way to go is saying Oh..... and then going down into that Soup of yuck and dread and pain and misery, and guilt, and everything we feel, until we touch love.
* This "Falling In Love With It" way to go is the moment when we make a choice of where we want to go next.
It can help us choose what, at first, feels like the "hard" way (yes, it's way more committed to yourself than the "easy" way of shutting down...)...but then, quickly, with a little bit of practice, becomes the easy, empowering, evolving "love" way.
Touching love feels like oh, I did that, and I feel love for that person, that thing, or myself, and I feel sad for the pain I caused them, or me, and I'm still a good person, and I still absolutely, completely, deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.
Touching love is all of a sudden stopping the resistance of that knot in your belly, and just feeling what you feel.
It's stopping smiling, blaming, counting, imagining, justifying, excusing, making up stuff, wishing, hoping, and everything else and just feeling the weight of not feeling good.
For maybe a good solid moment.
And then, getting back on your horse, and riding it out of the sand and onto the road.
The moment you turn to your horse and say, "I've made a mistake and I can still ride like the wind," time starts again, the weather starts again, and the message signs all around start blinking.
If your love life is great, and the money you're making and the work you're doing feel frustrating and unsatisfying - as a woman, you most likely feel just fine!
Perhaps vaguely worried about money or wishing your days spent working at your business or for someone else felt better and more meaningful - but a great love life can make up for all the rest.
And if you have a great job, a great business - and a so-so or non-existant love life - that can feel powerful and wonderful when you're working - and lonely, confusing and upsetting the rest of the time.
We all work. We all want love. We all want excitement, change, thrills and great sex - and we also want familiarity, stability, comfort and sweetness.
We all want it all.
A Message is another chance to pay attention. Another chance to dance with what shows up. Another chance to enjoy the moment. Another chance to catch another Message.
And the message always is: There will always be mistakes, and mirrors and messages, because our lives are always moving, and we will never learn everything there is to learn.
Sometimes the "Mistake" IS the Message.